Sustainable investing is going to be a prerequisite in 10 years’ time in order for companies to access capital, according to an asset manager.
Altius Asset Management chief investment officer Bill Bovingdon told InvestorDaily’s sister title, the ifa, that demand for and interest in sustainable investing has been growing rapidly, to the extent that it would be “impossible” for investors not to engage in it.
Mr Bovingdon added that sustainable investing would become a prerequisite for investors over the next 10 years.
“It would be like a borrower trying to come to market without audited accounts if they didn’t have a sustainability plan which was actually properly constructed and reviewed, and often with third-party verification,” Mr Bovingdon said on the ifa show.
“If those things aren’t in place, I just see that it’s going to be very difficult for companies to actually access capital. We’ve already seen that playing out politically locally, where one of the big motivations for net zero by 2050 was a recognition that international investors and providers of capital were going to make us pay for not having good sustainability policies.
“I think now that’s going to happen at every level, government, corporate and so on.”
His comments have preceded the InvestorDaily ESG Summit, which is returning in-person in 2022 in Sydney on Tuesday, 8 February and in Melbourne on Thursday, 17 February.
This year’s summit will include a full day of sessions, keynote addresses and panel discussions led by industry leaders, along with networking opportunities, to provide an in-depth exploration of the evolving environmental, social and governance (ESG) landscape, and the strategies required to engage socially aware and proactive clients amid the greatest wealth transfer in history.
Discussions around ESG and sustainable investing have been growing louder in recent years, with investors clamouring for investment options that address issues such as climate change.
Indeed, data from National Seniors Australia has shown that older Australians are concerned about the environment and the future, with 85 per cent saying they believe climate change is occurring, while three-quarters want action, even if living costs increase and 60 per cent are already investing in some sort of renewables (with calls for more action to supercharge investment).
Mr Bovingdon said that investors have become increasingly conscious of the environment since the recent droughts, bushfires, and floods and expressed a desire for action.
He added that despite the political challenges around establishing climate policy (such as a small majority for the government in Parliament) there is wider support for net zero targets by 2050 from the business community, corporations and investors.
“I think this is going to continue to be central to our economy, and therefore sustainable investing is going to be central to our economy,” Mr Bovingdon said.
Make sure you attend the ESG Summit in 2022 to hear more about these issues, as well as tips and tools to engage more socially-aware clients.